Mega-Dams and Indigenous Human Rights
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Mega-Dams and Indigenous Human Rights

Itzchak Kornfeld

This original and insightful book explores and examines the impact that building mega-dams has on the human rights of those living in surrounding areas, and in particular those of indigenous peoples who are often most affected. Compiling case studies from around the world, Itzchak Kornfeld provides clear examples of how human rights violations are perpetrated and compounded, with chapters examining historical, recent and ongoing dam projects.
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Chapter 5: The Yacyretá Dam: adiós to paradise and the destruction of human rights

Itzchak Kornfeld


The Yacyretà Dam is a joint venture between Argentina and Paraguay on the Paraná River. It was designed to generate 3,200 megawatts (MW), at a reservoir water level of 83 meters above sea level. But, it has never reached that amount. The Dam is managed by a bi-national entity, Entidad Binacional Yacyreta. Funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank, Yacyretà reservoir displaced at least 40,000 indigenous people. The two Banks’ inspection panels investigated and found that the Banks failed to follow their lending protocols, which led to the breach of human rights. Moreover, stagnant pools adjacent to the reservoir caused concern regarding the outbreak of diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, and a variety of skin diseases. Additionally, increased respiratory infections, diarrhea, skin rashes, skin and intestinal parasites, nutritional disorders, and stress-related conditions also prevailed.

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